There are many ways to leverage YouTube video ads for business, and for each of those ways there are many steps involved, from setting up your YouTube account, deciding which types of ads to run, and crafting an optimized, effective video to use.
About YouTube’s TrueView (Skippable) video ads
A popular and effective type of YouTube video ad is the TrueView instream (skippable) ad, which we’ll focus on here. Leveraging these types of YouTube video ads is a great start because:
- YouTube offers you access to a massive audience.
- They can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a video on YouTube.
- They allow the viewer the ability to skip out of the video ad after 5 seconds.
- They can be versatile in style or approach, ranging from 12 seconds to 3 minutes.
- You only pay when a view has passed 30-seconds or the entire video length (whichever comes first).
With these types of YouTube video ads, you end up paying for exposure to viewers who have opted to continue watching, are therefore more interested in your content and more likely to convert.
Here are some tips on optimizing your video content for this type of ad, using some examples we recently produced for our client, Huntington Learning Center.
1. Make an impact in the first 3 seconds
Even though these videos can be up to three minutes long, many viewers will still skip out after 5 seconds, or at the 6-second mark, even if the content would have been relevant to them.
Many times this has nothing to do with the quality of the content at all, but can just be a common reflex. According to IPG Mediabrand, “76% of customers” claim they skip ads because it has “become an ingrained habit”.
If you’re thinking “Well then why should I bother creating an ad?” remember that even if they hit “skip”, they’re not really skipping the ad, they’re just possibly skipping whatever comes after 6 seconds. And in advertising, a LOT can be achieved in under 6 seconds.
In fact, if viewers watched the first 3 seconds, they are 65% more likely to watch the first 10 seconds. And it only takes .25 seconds to positively impact brand recall.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
2. Dive right in with an interesting visual, statement or question.
Notice how our spots dive right in with a question designed to capture viewer attention and get them thinking (especially if they’re the target demographic: parents).
The very first shots actually echo the question on-screen so that the viewer may be taking it in both visually and via audio.
A best practice is to make a brand impression within the first 3 seconds. This means eliminate old-fashioned openings or titles and jump right into the action.
3. Consider viewers without audio.
All advertising or marketing content these days should be considered without audio, since currently most content is viewed and consumed via mobile device.
Viewers on social or mobile are likely to watch without sound or may only activate sound after a second or two if they are interested in the video. You must rely on subtitles, the built-in post text, and the opening visuals of your video to capture attention and communicate information.
Here, the opening visuals make it clear that a question is being asked in a classroom setting, then we quickly see the man versus woman setup or the group of kids – two different arrangements that may resonate with different types of viewers.
4. Keep the entire video quick and engaging.
Short video content in general has greater success as an advertisement, with the ideal length for most mobile or social advertising content being 15 seconds maximum.
Humor is also one of the best ways to have your content be engaging and memorable. With our client open to using light humor, we scripted a few concepts designed to be light-hearted and enjoyable.
5. Reveal your major message in <10 seconds.
Notice that just as the 7-second mark passes we get to the full on-screen branding and main message of the video. 7-10 seconds is a major threshold for viewers who opt to continue watching the spot.
As we covered in a past post, 65% of people who watch the first 3 seconds of a video continue on to watch the first 10 seconds. You’ll want to make sure that audience gets your full branding message.
6. Prepare to Measure ROI Success
To-date these new YouTube campaigns are performing very well; these two YouTube video ads for Huntington Learning Center have already earned over 24k views each.
There’s a wealth of skill and talent that goes into both the strategy and creative development for even a 15-second YouTube video ad. But it can be done easily and effectively by an expert team, and when done right it will prove to offer positive results and measurable ROI.